GREENVILLE, Pa.—A team of business and marketing students under the direction of Assistant Professor of Business and Marketing Steve Kandray advanced to the final round of the America250PA 2020 Direct Effect Innovation Challenge.
This competition with the theme “Buy PA” required students to develop marketing campaign concepts that encourage growth and innovation in Pennsylvania businesses by targeting consumers.
Thirteen student teams from colleges across Pennsylvania completed the virtual Campus and Regional Rounds of the competition by presenting their marketing concepts in October. The final round was held virtually in November. The competition required students to present their concepts directly to consumers. George Cupec ’20, Elijah Williams ’22 and Austin Dillon ’22 represented Thiel College.
“During the initial brainstorming session, I had a lot of ideas I wanted to share with our team. However, I was determined to remain as hands-off as possible and the let the student team generate their own ideas,” Kandray said. “At the end of the day, the students ended up submitting a final concept different than what I’d expected, but I was extremely impressed with their creativity and professionalism. The entire DEIC project is a perfect way for them to gain valuable experience they can use to stand out when interviewing for a job.”
Students participating in the competition received a monetary award as well as a Direct Effect Innovation Challenge digital badge which may be displayed on resumes and in online accounts to celebrate their roles as contributors to such a distinguished Commonwealth project.
America250PA, also called the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial, was established in 2018 in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, which will take place in July 2026. Initiatives such as the Direct Effect Innovation Challenge were established by America250PA as part of its mission to develop and plan for this special commemoration of the state and of the nation in the near future. The commission strives to engage citizens of Pennsylvania to encourage them to develop an appreciation for the state’s origin, its history, and its impact on the nation so that they may, in turn, decide to place an interest on bettering their communities for the benefit of future generations.
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